Double Barrel Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
772 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
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Double Barrel AleDouble Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerManDan on 08-24-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
772
Ratings:
2,723
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
11.41%
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
474
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 772 | Ratings: 2,723
Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 bottle - label indicates bottled on 2/11/13.

appears a dark clear copper color, creamy off-white head. good head retention. not much aroma, just a little biscuity malt. taste has a mild bready flavor, crackers, earthy. medium body, soft carbonation.

overall - I wish I had noticed the date before I bought, but it was refrigerated. okay though, appropriate to the style.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: More brown than red amber, clear a smooth looking. Small bit of head, just about a finger, but quickly fades leaving some film.

S: Not much in the way of smell. Some roasted malt and maybe a touch of oak comes out. Hard to say what this will taste like.

T: Nice rich roasted malt and plenty of oak. I can taste a bit of Belgian strong dark ale in this, probably because of the aging. The flavor is pretty mild overall. Almost no hops that I can detect.

MF: Thin and smooth. Bit of a sweet aftertaste, not really sure where that's coming from.

D: I've had this on tap a few times, and always feel pretty much the same about it. It's really easy to drink and the flavor is a bit unique because of the barrel aging, but there's so many other good sessionable beers out there that I would probalby only resort to this if there was nothing better on tap. A solid brew, but nothing to jump out of your boots for.

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Photo of briman
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours crystal clear amber with about a half-inch caramel colored head. Average head retention....some lacing, but not a lot.

Aroma is caramel malt, with some notes of vanilla.

Taste is pretty mild, some caramel malt sweetness. Hops are there, and they come through with a hint of bitterness in the finish, but just aren't strong enough for me to really get a feel for their character. Finishes slightly sweet, with a hint of alcohol, and maybe a little bit of smoke thrown in.

Well balanced, with a medium body, & low carbonation. Pretty low-key beer, not really anything that makes you stand up and take notice....as an American Amber it seems tame, seems more like a mild English bitter. For my money, it's pretty much middle of the road.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received courtesy of breity in a recent trade. Thanks much!

Pours a translucent orange with a decent inch-think head on top. Recedes pretty quickly and leaves little spotty lacing. Weak. Smell is a little on the weak side as well. Some biscuity malt scent, some faint hops, and some vegetable scent in there as well. Not sure if my slightly stuffed up nose is hindering this, but oh well. Unimpressive.

Packs a bit of flavor in here though. Is this really supposed to be an Amber Ale? Tastes more like a Pale Ale. Some mild hop kick backed up by decent balancing sweet malt. Aftertaste is a little like corn. Good mouthfeel. Crisp, yet smooth. I could drink a few of these. Let's correct the style though, shall we? The bottle itself even says Pale Ale.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - slightly hazed copper color with a fine beige head that left some bits of lacing.

S - sweet caramel malt aroma.

T - sweet malty flavor with a very light touch of bitterness and wood on the finish.

F - light/medium bodied with a thin feel.

D - it was easy to drink but I've had better.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to finally have Firestone available here. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker glass. Appears a clear amber color with around a finger of off white foam. No lacing to speak of. nose and flavor are a tad sweet, malty, earthy hops, a bit of citrus. Just about medium bodied and amply carbonated for an amber ale. Worth a try if it's available in your area.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep orange with minimal head that fades to a few bubbles on the surface. Good amount of carbonation visible.

S - Smells mostly of light malts, some light fruits as well.

T - Very rich malt flavor, mostly caramel malts, slightly biscuity, same light fruits are there from the smell.

M - Very smooth, medium body, slightly grainy mouthfeel towards the end. Finish is still mostly rich malts with a hint of bittering hops.

D - Very good drinkability, very smooth in mouthfeel and flavor. Just have to keep going back for another sip. There wasn't anything overly complex about this beer.

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Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Zorro.

A - 1 1/2" off-white head retains at 1/4". No doubt this is an amber ale as the beer is perfectly amber, clear and clean. Light lacing.

S - Big caramel. Spicy, grassy hops.

T - Biscuity, bready malts. Caramel. Buttery. Light but lingering spicy hops in the finish.

M - Just over thin bodied with high, lively carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Drinkability is good. I could guzzle a few of these. Thanks Zorro!

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Photo of ikats
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, dark amber in color with fluffy white head. A thin cover remains throughout my session. Carbonation is fairly low. Aroma includes some toffee sweetness with some piney hops notes. There is slight hop bite as you first taste the ale, but it's the sweetness that stays with you on the lips. Medium-light body. I find it smooth and very drinkable (but then I rarely drink more than 2-3 beers at home).

On my most recent week-long Los Angeles visit, I was looking for a local six pack, so that I can have a bottle or two after work back in the hotel. I then recalled reading about Firestone Walker's Union system, and I was curious to try it. Nice pick. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One bottle made it back to NYC with me for this review. Now I am curious to try 100% barrel-aged DBA at their tasting room (as opposed to 20/80 mix of barrel- and stainless-aged ales that goes into the bottles). Maybe my next visit to California.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Copper with slight orange and red hints. One finger head with bigger bubbles throughout. Vanished in a hurry. Very light lacing.

S: Light floral hoppiness. Kind of a fresh soapiness aroma. Very light caramel malts.

T: A vanilla caramel flavor throughout. Nice toffee. The faintest touch of floral hops. Very nice sweet aftertaste, with the vanilla/caramel/toffee. Huge improvement, as this beer was going south quick.

M: Kinda thin. Not a whole lot going on except the fizzy carbonation.

O: If your looking to experience the whole beer it's not all that. But if you really don't care about look/smell/mouthfeel then the taste is worth it.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass pour and I am met with a caramel colored ale with a beige small foamy head. Malty, bready aroma with some faints hints of citrus fruits. A rather bitter taste with some mild grapefruit coming through after the swallow. Malt backbone smoothes it out to keep it from being overly hoppy. Carbonated feeling stays in the mouth well after the sip is complete. Full bodied mouthfeel, which is nice. At only 5% this is a good session beer for someone trying the PA style. Not overly bitter or malty...right in the middle. Unfortunately there was no "wow" factor for me. I like the Firestone beers but this one just didn't have anything special to set it apart from most other Pale Ale's. Still, a well done Pale Ale from a great brewery.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this extra! Neck dated 5/23/11. 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy medium amber with thin off-white head. Nose has some biscuit and caramel, classic English pale meets American pale. Palate is medium-light bodied with some thin caramel and that lovely biscuity dry flour thing.

A solid example of the Americanized English Pale Ale.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a Semi-clear, amber orange with a finger width head, dissipates quickly, and leaves behind a sparse lace.

smell - Faint, but malt forward on the nose. Notes of caramel and whole grain. Distant citrus.

Taste - Follows the nose. Caramel and bread grain flavors. Earthy bitterness mid-taste. There's a citrus hop character that comes through near the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with fair carbonation. Smooth from start to finish. Quite quaffable.

Overall - Not a big fan of this beer but it's drinkable, and the balance is there. If you wanted to grab something to watch a game without giving thought to the beer you're drinking, you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of DamienR
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: A very beautiful copper color, with lace all the way down, two finger head that had a decent retention, a very pretty beer, the off white head looks very nice alongside the copper.

S: From the bottle, smelled very pleasant. Earthy, bread smells mixed with a slight fruity smell. In the pint glass there was no discernable smell.

T: Very crisp, light malt and bread flavor at first that becomes thin with almost no aftertaste in a glass. After tasting directly from the bottle the taste is greatly improved and has a very pleasant, slight sweetness to it. I wouldn't recommend pouring this one. (Would make a nice session beer)

M: A very watery, thin feel. But with a pleasant silkiness accompanying it.

O: Goes down smooth in a glass, but I prefer it directly from the bottle. It seems to retain more of its flavor that way.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

"I have two guns: one for each of ya." Classic. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear rusty-bronze topped by a finger of lightly off-cream foam. The nose comprises mild biscuit, flowers, very light seaweed, and a kiss of honey. The taste brings in more of the same, with a slightly stronger and breadier malt backbone. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice and easygoing little brew, something I could easily see downing a sixer of every now and again whilst relaxing.

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Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Thanks to UncleJimbo for the sample.

Appearance: A definite pssst when I popped the cap, fast to foam with a light crackle of carbonation. One finger of foam stays intact over the clear mahogany colored brew.

Smell: Slight candy and caramel sweetness under the toasted malt, faintly floral from the hops and quite clean as well.

Taste: Clean malt sweetness, lots of caramel and bread. The hop character melts in the malt and struggles to break its hold. Finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Hard crispness rolls off the palate with a medium body.

Drinkability: I could only drink one, maybe two of these in a sitting … seems heavy for some reason.

Notes: A tasty brew, pale ale? Amber ale? Does it really matter? Either way it was enjoyable.

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Photo of WellRested518
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt copper with a one finger head. Mild lacing with good retention. The smell starts with a degrading hop tea and finishes with caramel and a slight touch of oak. Upon the sip I get similar results with phenomenal balance. Earthy/spicy hops pop up in between waves of sweet the sweet malt body. This beer has a mouthfeel that is full and lowly carbonated without being cloying... it's actually quite crisp and creamy.

This bottle had some time on it that probably didn't work in terms of aroma. I feel that if it were fresh it could be very good.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i must admit -- mr first FW beer was Union Jack, followed by Abacus, followed by Double Jack. So, it is kind of hard to gear down for this one, AND steeped in the cornucopia of amazing, exotic and experimental beers you can get out there....

it's hard to gauge this beer fairly as an English Pale Ale for me. PALE ALE has been defined as SN Pale for me. BASS ALE... is well... bass ale, and english beer you mix with Guinness sometimes... for me the disappointment is in the

1. lack of a fresh hop profile,
2. a lagerish type feel, not really Ale like
3. lack of sweetness and overall....

too dry for the style. yes, i just said i am somewhat limited on the style... and now i am saying it is too dry.

POURS a light mahogany color with a little one finger head, IF you pour aggressively. then the lager type feel hits... SMELL is mostly of yeast and some malt. it is a pleasant aroma. but not exciting.

TASTE again is yeast, and dry malt... like maybe the bitterness is drying out the malt? crisp and dry... not sweet and effervescent. MOUTHFEEL is light. OVERALL this beer would not win me over to this brewery.

but considering i am sold on most of their other beers... i would recommend this to fans of the Style.

cheers!

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/21/11

10/05/10 stamped on the bottle

Thanks to nrbw23

Slightly pale, burnt amber-brown color. Clarity is excellent. Poured half an inch of puffy, egg shell hued foam that thinned to patchy bubbles after several minutes. A decent amount of lace remains.

The aroma is pretty chill. There's good balance between hops & malt. Hops seem primarily grassy but there are hints of flora, pine & citrus (to a lesser degree). Notes of caramel & biscuit.

The hop attack is sharp & brief. Piney with earthy, vegetal notions & nips of pepper. Maybe a little orange peel buried in back. The malts seem to keep distance from the hops with caramel & toasted bread lurking underneath.

Medium body with a kind of watery mid-section. Carbonation is quite biting without being particularly fizzy. Some residual bitterness with a lingering grassy, herbal flavor.

Not bad at all. The carbonation was a bit more brazen than I prefer but I was able to swirl it to a more enjoyable level. In hindsight it would seem the carbonation was the cause for the disassociation of malt & hops.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice clear caramel. Not much head. Not much lace.

S - Not much of anything really. Slight malt and maybe some hops.

T - Medium middle malt core, slight hops shoring it up. Tasty.

M - Light bodied, good carb, decent coating.

D - Very easy to drink.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have a tough decision to make. I'm at Angel Stadium and I want a beer to go with my hot dog. What should I get? Get Budweiser Select on draft, or part an extra 50 cents for Firestone Walker? Or I could part $12 for a bomber of Corona Light. I'll have a Firestone, please. And it was granted. Time to try it out:

Dark amber in color with a creamy head, it's first impression was better that the watery light beers other fans were guzzling. It has a pleasant flavor of apricot, caramel, and some pine. A quick brush of hops ended each sip. The feel seemed a bit watery, but I'll take this beer over many of the other options available at the ballpark.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Imstillthegman and BIF 33 for the chance to try this one. Pours light copper, good dense head, it subsides for a bit. Lacing is moderate. Smell is faint, a slight grassy(?) aroma. Taste is slightly astringent, more english ale type than american ale in my book. Mouthfeel is good, but the astringency is there. Drinkable, well, yeah, seems sessionable, but there are better ones out there.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep reddish amber colored body and is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan colored head. The aroma is quite light, in fact at first it seems indistinct except for a soft berry-like fruitiness and a touch of grassy hop notes. Upon closer inspection the aroma opens up with a touch more fruitiness; notes of berries as well as sweet plums, golden raisins, and even a light aromatic apple note. In addition a soft citrus-like hop character, becomes more prominent after I first recognizable it. A very nicely balanced aroma, that is perhaps a touch too light even for a nice session brew.

Up front the taste is sharp with hop notes and dry malt character. It moves to a soft fruitiness that lingers on in the finish. The fruitiness is lead by that berry note, perhaps even a touch of strawberry. This beer has a fairly light body, though it does have some heft to it, especially towards the finish where a touch of malt sweetness and the fruit notes are found. The note that lingers the longest after swallowing a sip is that of biscuits or soda crackers. In fact this note helps to dry things out and prepare you for another sip. This beer is nicely hoppy with notes that are at times herbal, a touch citrus-like (leaning towards sweet citrus fruit notes), definitely with a nice bitterness, and maybe, just maybe with a touch of grass-like character. A touch of tannic astringency might be what is left of the barrel character, but this is soft and barely perceptible. I can't help thinking that this is at the right level though.

This beer is very soft overall, it is really quite tasty and well balanced, but I do wish there was more to it. I have a feeling that this would be a killer beer if served in an unfiltered straight from the hand pump form. I will have to seek out such a beast at some point as I am intrigued at what heights this beer might be able to achieve.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Azurescens
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Mac & Jack's pint glass, reviewed on 4/15/11

A: Pours a clear golden amber with off white head with a good amount of lacing left around glass.

S: Sweet bready malt with a faint herbal grassy hop aroma.

T: Same malty bread taste from the smell, clean with some herbal hops to balance out the malt.

M: Average pale ale mouthfeel, light bodied, malt forward, crisp with good carbonation and finishes dry.

O: Decent pale ale, nothing to really complain about but nothing special either. Good drinkability, not something I will be buying in the near future, but I would definitely drink one if it is offered to me.

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Photo of Gmann
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a short soapy khaki colored head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is bready and has a light metallic note. Some brown sugar and toffee.

The aroma has a toffee sweetness to go along with a bready malt. Some tea and metallic flavors. The hops provide some offsetting bitterness but don't provide much flavor.

Moderate feel with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate with enough bitterness to balance.

Not too sweet and good balance. Good representation of the style.

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Double Barrel Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,723 ratings.
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